Instructional Technology » Digital Learning

Digital Learning

Newfound Best Practices
 

Redefining best practices during this has been challenging, but in many ways rewarding. Some of the best practices that can take place in a brick and mortar classroom don’t necessarily transfer over into remote learning environments. 

 

Some of our teachers applied and took part in our Summer Jumpstart. The concept behind this was to offer all students of Los Fresnos CISD grades 1-8 an interactive online kick start to the 2020-2021 school year. Students participated live during the scheduled time or caught the instructional videos on demand. It was here, where many of our best practices were redefined and came to fruition below. 

Teachers came to the realization that students need webcam etiquette. You can see the Webcam Etiquette digital poster by clicking here.
Teachers also began to notice the importance of their synchronous “live sessions” with students. In some cases, struggling students were grouped and asked to stay a little bit longer after the session was over to continue working on mastery. Leveraging this instant data is going to be very important in the coming year. Checking for understanding does not have to be high-tech, it can be low-tech and as simple as a yes/no or thumbs up for understanding concepts. 
Los Fresnos CISD purchased the Screencastify Unlimited (Chrome Extension). This Screencastify website has courses that teachers can take to receive Master Screencaster and Genius! Level status. The courses can be accessed here. Screencastify can be used to communicate with parents/guardians, students, and colleagues. One of the greater ways that it can be used is with differentiating instruction. Once a recording or screencast takes place, you are able to immediately share it in the Google Classroom as an announcement, assignment, and so forth. Moreover, you’re able to share the screencast with a specific student or group of students. This can be an acknowledgement or empowering message to that child to words of encouragement. Humanizing how we differentiate instruction by using Screencastify will help with our social-emotional student needs.  
Moving forward, this academic year, teachers can post what specific items will be needed during the week. This can help parents/guardians organize materials for that specific week. Moreover, it can help parents/guardians to know what the school supplies list is, but having a weekly reminder of when said supplies will be used will be extra helpful for them. 
Google Classroom offers timed releases of assignments and materials. This scheduling tool is very helpful for teachers and students alike. When a student logs into the classroom and sees all the “topics” or modules filled with assignments, quizzes, and materials- many students will stay up late to finish all given assignments to be ahead. This can have a negative impact on their social-emotional needs. Strategically timing resources to open at designated times will be most helpful for students and parents/guardians. For example, if we are on Week 2, only Week 1 and 2 should be seen for the student. We can time Week 3 to open on Monday at 7:30 a.m. 
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